Perhaps the most frequent question I receive from a student following their CCIE 4.0 program purchase is how they should best use the mountain of study materials that is included in that incredible bundle. This post is the first in a series I will provide that outlines various different study approaches we have witnessed students use and succeed with in the past. Just like passing the actual lab exam is a very personal experience consisting of a personalized strategy approach, so is the task of preparing for the exam. I look forward to the blog comments in these posts as students can share their own, valuable study tips and approaches.
John is 32 years of age with a wife and a 2 year old daughter. He works for a large help desk, and his role is to assist field technicians troubleshooting home networks.
Let us examine how he used these products in order to pass his CCIE Version 4.0 exam.
Phase 1 - Self Analysis
John prints out the Expanded Study Blueprint and rates his comfort level on a scale of 1 to 5 for each technology area. He will use this rating to help gauge how much time he will be spending in certain study areas.
John meets with his wife and they agree upon his study hours and arrange their schedules to accommodate his journey.
Phase 2 - Tier 1 Study
Based on his self analysis phase, and his love of reading a good technical book, John decides to read the following texts:
- IPv6 Theory, Protocol, and Practice
- MPLS Fundamentals - Chapters 1 through 7
- Routing TCP/IP, Volume II - Chapters 5, 6, and 7
John has a long commute into and out of work each day. To help with his Tier 1 knowledge, and to ease the boredom of the commute, John listens to the Audio Bootcamp twice per day.
John is excited now for hands on practice and he completes the Volume 1 - Advanced Technologies Labs.
Phase 3 - Tier 2 Study
John starts practicing with some Core Knowledge Simulation questions each day. These cause him to read the More Information links for subjects that he still feels a bit weak in for Tier 1.
To build configuration speed, John completes several sections of the Volume 3 - Core Technologies Labs.
Phase 4 - Tier 3 Study
With much excitement, John books his first Mock Lab. Based on the results, he returns to sections of the Core Knowledge Simulation, the Volume 1 workbook, and completes several more Volume 4 labs.
John attempts another Mock Lab, and based on the results, schedules his actual lab exam. He completes another Mock Lab three weeks before his exam.
John travels to Brussels and passes his Version 4 lab exam in his first attempt!